How does earning cash back on your online shopping purchases sound to you? Sounds PRETTY DANG GOOD to me – but, of course, I would have to see it to believe it. Enter one of my BEST and OLDEST friends, Eddie, to give us all the 4-1-1 on the very legitimate Rakuten. Eddie (aka EEJ to many who have known him since the days of his AIM screen name EJMoye33 which we used as his nickname which morphed into EEJ) is basically the gay, male version of me. The evolution of our relationship is far too hilarious/extensive for the intro to this post, but more to come on that at a later date. Without further ado…
Why Rakuten Made me Excited to be a Shopper Mom*
I’m not really a shopper, more of a conspiracy theorist– even Kitty Mills’ easier-than-pie shopping deals and simple lists give me anxiety. Why? Surely there’s a catch when the product you’re lusting over drops its value for just a day. Having lived in New York City for the better part of a decade and working just above Canal Street, I know too well that many deals today are good to be true.
But just over a year ago, I discovered a shopping tool that is truly a mirage in the mom-eat-mom desert of bargain-hunting, called Rakuten Deals.
“They Give Me Checkssss…”
I laughed when I saw the extremely cheesy, low-budget commercial for Ebates years ago. The mousey, midwestern housewife with the bad perm saying “They send me checks! Just for shopping at my favorite stores!” Peak Cringe Alert. Someone call the Fab 5 stat.
Checks? What am I going to do with a check? Is this the 90s?
I had to find the catch. I dug a bit deeper, started a trial account, and clicked around. After some time, I took off my cynical millennial hat and realized that only a fool would turn down a chance at free money. Therein begins my obsession.
Your Rainy-Day Fund Made Easy
Rakuten, formerly called Ebates, is a Cash Back, deals and shopping rewards portal for almost every store you could ever imagine. It’s super easy to sign up. Stores pay the site a commission for sending its members to their websites, and that’s where the cash comes in!
It’s a simple as clicking a deal, and then being re-directed to that store’s site.
Here’s how it works:
Once you have an account, you must start your online shopping trip with Rakuten and find your store. You can do this by clicking through to your store on the site – or I prefer to have a button on my browser. The button flashes every time I visit a website that offers cash back and will direct me to unlock the deal. It even applies coupons automatically at checkout, so you’ll always get the best deals.
Cash Back deals go up and down all the time. There are double and triple cash back days, and most align with the store’s sales. The discounts are ON TOP of what you save with regular seasonal sales.
You can also link your account/credit cards to get cash back IN-STORE at the same places.
The Big Payoff
Rakuten sends a check to your house quarterly for the sum of all your cash back purchases.
So far, in a little more than one year, I’ve made more than $630.00 using the service. I can apply it to my weekly meal services, Amazon, almost everything.
So, moms, dads, Mary El’s and Maeves – anyone who shops online. Do yourself a favor and harness the power of this awesome shopping hack! SIGN UP HERE!!!
*Eddie Moye is not really a mom, but a surrogate gay uncle to many babies of his BFFs.